Residents in Halton are strongly urged to stay at home to help reduce COVID-19 infection rates even further, prior to schools opening to all pupils.
All schools and colleges will welcome back pupils on 8th March in the first stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, however while infection rates in Halton have been falling in recent weeks, they remain high with local hospitals still under some pressure.
Eileen O’Meara, Halton’s Director of Public Health said “Over the next two weeks, it’s really important that residents continue to abide by the current lockdown rules and play their part in reducing infection rates. Although schools and colleges are as safe as they can be, there is the potential that with the virus still circulating in the community, it could mean a rise in COVID rates in school/college settings. By starting with the lowest possible number of infections on 8th March, we can reduce the risk of rates going up rapidly, as we have seen following previous lockdowns.
“It is vital that we do everything we can to help our children and young people continue with their education uninterrupted. With lower rates, we can also look forward to the gradual easing of restrictions over the coming months as set out in the Government’s roadmap.”
“Under current lockdown rules, people should continue to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as work (if you cannot work from home), education, shopping and medical appointments. A full list of what is permitted is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
“A combination of the vaccine roll out and testing will help control the virus. The vaccine programme is running well with good uptake among priority groups and those who cannot work from home can access regular testing even if they do not have symptoms. Details on Halton’s no-symptoms testing centres can be found at www.halton.gov.uk/smart
If residents experience symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell or other symptoms that may be related to COVID*) they can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If the test is positive, residents must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
For those who need support during this difficult time please visit www.kindtoyourmind.org and Halton’s Mental Health Infopoint which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.
*Other symptoms can include
- A persistent headache
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting